Course: Appetizer, Condiment, Preserves, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: American, Preserves, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 50minutes
Cook Time: 10minutes
Total Time: 40minutes
Author: Lord Byron's Kitchen
Bread and Butter Zucchini Pickles are one of my favourite condiments. Easy to prepare, inexpensive too, this is a great recipe to prepare as gifts for friends or to stock your pantry for the winter months ahead.
Begin by sterilizing 4 500ml jars. To sterilize your jars, wash the jars well in hot, soapy water. Rinse the soap off in hot running water and place the clean jars into a large pot of water. Be sure that the jars are fully submerged right side up. Turn the heat to medium-high and allow the jars to sit in the water until the water comes to a boil. Once the water is boiling, time the jars for at least 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to simmer and leave the jars in the pot until you're ready to use. When removing the jars, avoid contact with the inside of the jar when removing it from the pot or when filling it with the ingredients. To sterilize the seals and lids, wash them as you did the jars, and boil water in your kettle. Pour the boiled water into a clean bowl and drop the seals and lids into the water. Be sure the lids and seals and completely submerged.
Next, in a sauce pan, combine the vinegar and honey. Over medium heat, stir until the honey has dissolved and the mixture is steaming.
Add the mustard seeds, celery seeds, cumin, and salt. Bring this mixture to a boil.
Add the zucchini, red bell pepper, and onion to the brine. Stir to combine and boil together for 5 minutes. Stay close by and don't let the pot bubble over - this liquid has to be saved and used later.
Remove the jars from the pot of water, using a jar lifter. Using a canning funnel, fill each jar as evenly as possible with the vegetable mixture. Top each jar off with ladles of the brine until 1/2 inch of head space remains.
Use a chop stick to move the veggies around; this will help to rid the jar of air bubbles. Top up the jars with more brine if needed.
Add a seal and a lid. Tighten the lid until just snug - don't screw the lid on really tight.
Using a jar lifter, lower the jars into the original pot of simmering water. Be sure the water is covering the jars by at least an inch. Turn the heat up to medium-high and once the water is at a boil, allow the jars to sit for 10 minutes.
Remove the jars from the water and set aside. About 30 minutes or so into the cooling time, the jars will making a popping sound. This sound is a result of the air contracting inside the jar which pulls the ring down creating a vacuum seal. You will note that the center of the lid will have been pulled down. When the jars are cooled, gently push down on the center of the lid. If the lid pushes down, the jar did not seal properly. Store that particular jar in your refrigerator and eat first. The rest of the jars can be wiped down with a moist towel, the lids re-tightened by hand, and labeled for storage.
These pickles are best if left to sit for at least 7 days before opening. Store in a dark, cool cabinet for up to 12 months.